I was thinking about how our pets are living better and longer lives these days because of the effectiveness of heartworm and flea preventions, and it occurred to me that I have not done an article in some time about the different flea and heartworm preventions and their prices.
They are not as pricey as you think if you look in the right places and are careful with your purchases.
Heartworm, flea and tick products can be purchased from your veterinarian. This is a great place to get them because there are many choices on the market and it can be confusing. If you are not careful, you may think you are getting heartworm prevention when all you are getting is flea medicine.
But buying at the veterinary office can be a little more expensive than buying online.
Yes, I think online purchases can be done with two caveats. First, make sure the pharmacy is safe. Second, make sure you know what the medication is used for and how to use it.
How do you know that an online pharmacy is safe? This is very important. You have to look for the Safe.Pharmacy logo on the website’s home page. It is usually at the bottom of the page. It means the pharmacy is accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The NABP is an impartial professional organization that supports the state boards of pharmacy in protecting public health.
If you want to see an example of the logo, go to 1-800 Pet Meds and Chewy.com. They have it at the bottom of their pages. A website to see a list of pharmacies that are compliant is https://safe.pharmacy/buy-safely/.
How do you know what you want? Get your first dose at your veterinarian’s office. You will have to establish a relationship with a veterinarian anyway to get started on heartworm medicine. It is regulated by the state.
To get heartworm prevention, your veterinarian has to have seen your pet within the past year and have a negative heartworm test on file. This can be the most expensive part of getting on prevention, but it is necessary.
Heartworm medicine is important here in the Panhandle because mosquitoes are so bad. All pets should be on heartworm prevention. Another plus to heartworm medicine is that all of the ones on the market these days also treat the pet for hookworms and roundworms.
Our focus today is affordability, so we will limit the discussion to the least expensive heartworm preventions. Getting Heartgard or one of its generics (Triheart or Iverheart) is the best choice. My own general online search found a six-month supply of Triheart for $23 to $38. That comes to $4 to $7 a month. That sounds pretty affordable to me. Iverhart is roughly $4.50 to $8 a month.
The combination heartworm and flea medications are pricier, but flea protection is important, too. A six-month Trifexis supply is about $114 to $128. This is roughly $19 to $22 a month, and you are preventing fleas and heartworms as well as hookworms and roundworms.
This is doable. What I am trying to say is don’t think good medicine is out of reach because of the cost. You will have to make an appointment with a veterinarian to have an exam and a heartworm test, but getting the medicine can be done online.
Your veterinarian will sign off on the product when the website contacts him if he has seen your pet within one year and has a negative heartworm test documented. In fact, ask your veterinarian if he has an online pharmacy. If he does, the prices are usually comparable.
This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: How to order dog heartworm, flea, tick medication online